Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or commonly known as Autism is a developmental disability in children. Autism primarily affects infants and children where the child suffers from a wide range of conditions that are characterized by difficulty in social interactions, behavioral skills, speech skills, and non-verbal communication. The common symptoms associated with autism are enlisted below and these symptoms can occur with varying severity.
Symptoms of Autism
• Children have trouble communicating
• Autistic children find it difficult in understanding and acknowledging what other people think or feel which makes it difficult for them to express themselves in words, actions, facial expressions or touch.
• Very sensitive individuals with autism are extremely disturbed and sometimes even experience pain by smells, sounds, touches or sights that usually seem normal to other individuals.
• Exhibit repetitive body movements such as hand flapping or clapping, rocking, and pacing.
• Some children also display unusual responses to new people.
• They might show resistance to change
• Inflict self-injury in some instances
• Be too attached to an object sometimes.
• Autistic children can also manifest with seizures. These seizures sometimes do not manifest until the child has attained adolescent age.
• Some children with autism display unusually developed non-verbal skills like drawing, music creation, playing musical instruments, solving math problems, remembering facts, etc.
• Most autistic individuals have other medical conditions like seizures, sleep disorders, GI distress, etc.
Some autistic individuals are able to live and do things on their own while some who are severely affected may require care.
Prevalence of Autism
It is roughly estimated that 62 out of 10,000 people in the world are autistic. However, it needs to be understood that the number might be on the higher side because there is no definitive data of autistic persons in low and middle-income countries. In the US alone 1 in 45 children are affected by Autism. It should be noted that the US has a higher number of special schools for autistic children. In these schools special training and speech therapy are imparted to children and yet there is no improvement in the situation. In India, autism affects about 3 million people.
Cause of Autism
Currently, there is no single known cause of Autism. Western Medicine maintains that several genetic and environmental factors play a possible role in causing autism. They are of the opinion that pregnancy disorders, labor complications, fetal distress, low birth weight and premature weight occurring in the prenatal and perinatal periods have implications that might be causing Autism in children. Western Medicine is also under the opinion that genetics play a strong role in the development of autism. They also claim that Autism can be identified in a child between 6 months and 3 years of age.
But we strongly refute those claims. Autism as per our research is caused due to the damages suffered by the nerve cells in the brain. We have enough reasons to believe that vaccinations, particularly the chickenpox vaccines, affect brain nerve cells severely. Also, the claim that children can be diagnosed with autism between 6 months and 3 years of age are not true.
Other Facts about Autism
• Recent studies have shown that some children do not show any signs of a communication disorder until the environmental factors go beyond their capabilities.
• Data shows that autism is more common in male children than female children.
• Ethnicity, race, family income, lifestyle, education qualifications do not affect the occurrence or the development of autism.